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It’s over a century old. It’s a cornucopia of sights and sounds—a treat for all your senses. It’s a carnival and an agriculture show. It’s an art show and a game show. There’s food, music, and rides. It’s pure, unfiltered fair entertainment with that unmistakable Cherokee touch: a Ferris wheel, fireworks, and stickball.
Stickball has long been known as the “Little Brother of War,” and you’ll find thrilling demonstrations of it mixed into all the traditional fair fun and food. In fact, you’re going to find ample amounts of all sorts of authentic Cherokee culture, including archery and blowgun demonstrations, local art, dance, music, and more.
General admission is $10 per person at the gate. Children ages 6 and under will be admitted for free. Enrolled members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and other federally recognized tribes will receive free admission.
Celebrate a different emphasis each day you attend.
Tuesday: Parade Day
Wednesday: Children’s Day
Thursday: Elder’s Day
Friday: Veterans & Visitor Appreciation Day
Amazing tales as told by the Cherokee storytellers themselves. Imagine you’re gathered around a roaring bonfire, the occasional spark shooting high into the night sky, as a strong but gentle voice begins a story you’ve never heard. As the drama builds, you’re nearly breathless, your own heartbeat matching the occasional beat of the hand drum the storyteller uses. Drawing from a rich oral tradition dating back millennia, the Cherokee Bonfire series runs throughout the tourism season, and is an enchanting way to interact with the rich details of the Cherokee people and their stories. Get your room reserved in Cherokee, grab a blanket and someone close to you, and enjoy a cultural experience only Cherokee can offer.
The Bonfire stories crackle from 7:00–9:00 p.m. on the following dates at Oconaluftee Islands Park, on Tsali Blvd.: Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays, May 22 - October 12. Expanded schedule for July 1-6. No bonfires in September.